Chinese and Japanese wisterias (Wisteria sinensis and floribunda) are long time mid-Atlantic favorites. While the drape of the lavender flowers is short lived, they often evoke strong spring memories. If your Asian wisteria has taken off, you also know the effort involved to contain it. Importantly, the non-native wisteria has become invasive — from time to time you can see it high in the canopy of roadside trees.
The Mt. Cuba Center in Delaware is growing our native American wisteria (Wisteria frutescens), above on the right. The blooms are a bit smaller yet more vibrant. American wisteria will provide just as many blooms and greater habitat value. Even better, it’s not nearly as an aggressive grower as the asian wisterias– so less work!